***Thanks to all of you who read and reviewed. Even those of you who were nasty in a review and then disabled your PM's so I couldn't respond. Lol I appreciate all of you who constantly take the time to read my work.
***Thanks to Lady Tazz and TwiCarol. It doesn't get done without the two of you.
***I know some of you are disappointed that it's over, but I can't keep writing this one forever. This is where it feels right to end it for me. And, if the chapter had a theme this is what it would be…
Love means never having to say you're sorry. Love Story – Erich Segal
It didn't seem possible, but there she was standing at the bottom of the path. She'd come back to me. I had no right to expect she would after I left her in Seattle. But, I had hoped against all hope she'd figure out who she was and what she wanted. I'd always wanted to be who she needed.
She stood hesitantly at the end of the property. I could feel her apprehension and uncertainty. But then, as if something seemed to click for both of us at the same time, we started to walk toward one another. There was nothing rushed or hurried about our journey. We didn't even use vampire speed, it wasn't necessary. It was as if we both knew to meet in the middle. What a concept. Too bad I hadn't thought of that a month ago.
We stopped and stared at one another. I monitored her emotions. She was happy, hopefully to see me, but she was also afraid. That saddened me.
"Hmm?" She continued to look into my eyes. I noticed hers were the most beautiful shade of amber. Not a hint of red to be found.
I tentatively reached for her hand. She didn't pull away, so I felt encouraged. "I fully intended to feel anger, fury, betrayal and displeasure coming from you, but I feel your fear. What are you afraid of?"
"That you don't want me here."
I shook my head. Of course she would think that. I'd abandoned her in Seattle, but now having her here, standing in front of me, I couldn't remember what my reasons even were. They all seem so senseless now. All I did was waste a month of our time together.
"I want you here. I've always wanted you with me."
"I fucked up." I ran my fingers through my hair.
She nodded. She agreed with me a little more than I would've liked.
"I let my pride get in the way. I wanted to be the one who saved you." I realized now she didn't need to be saved. She just needed the room to become who she was meant to be. "I'm sorry."
"I know." She pressed her hand to my cheek. "I can feel your guilt."
"I thought I was doing the right thing."
"I can feel that too, Jasper," she said. "Looking back, I felt everything you were feeling from the second I opened my eyes to this new life. I didn't realize it, but that's why I was having such a difficult time adjusting."
"You were feeding off my emotions and you were trying to do what you thought I wanted. You must have been so confused trying to decipher everything that was going on around you on top of being a newborn."
She nodded. "It was such a crazy time and not being able to reign in my own emotions made it ten times worse. I didn't know I was feeling everything you were too."
"I should have figured it out sooner."
"How could you?" She ran her thumb along my bottom lip. "We didn't know there was a possibility for you to pass your gift on to me."
"I missed your touch." I closed my eyes and allowed myself to get lost in the moment.
"I missed you." She gently brushed her lips to against mine. "I felt like I was—"
"Drowning." I finished for her.
"I need to kiss you." I tangled my fingers in her hair and slowly explored her mouth with my tongue. It was as if I was kissing her for the very first time. "I didn't mean to abandon you, Bella. I let my ego win."
"You gave me the space to figure out who I am."
"It was my intention for that to happen, but I didn't need to leave. I was frustrated."
"You just went about it all wrong," she said. "When I came back from the woods that day you left, I wanted to tell you that I understood where you were coming from. I realized how wrong it was for me to shut you out with my shield, even if I wasn't doing it intentionally. I knew it hurt you."
"It did. I left because I was angry and I knew you would never have the freedom to figure things out with me constantly hovering, especially if you could feel everything I was feeling. I was never disappointed in you, Bella. I could never be. Look at the remarkable woman you are."
"I am pretty amazing." She giggled.
"I missed your laugh."
She looked down at the path and then back to the house. "It looks like you kept yourself pretty busy."
"I would've gone stark raving mad if I didn't find a way to pass the time. Peter and Char left shortly after I finished the path because they were afraid of what I might do next."
"Where did they go?"
"They didn't say. But, they said they'd be back when you came back." I laughed. "Apparently I projected my nasty mood one too many times."
She smiled and I felt her satisfaction.
I arched a brow.
"Sorry, but I'm glad you were miserable. It'll teach you never to leave me again."
"I'm afraid you're stuck with me for eternity, if you'll have me."
"We're mates, Jasper," she said. "And, you know as well as I do, we can't be apart. You did what you thought was right at the time, but I can feel your remorse. Luckily, you have an eternity to make that up to me. I don't intend to let you forget it easily."
I smiled because she was always a feisty little one.
"You may not be smiling in ten years." She laughed. "You know what they say about payback."
"As long as I have you, I don't care how much groveling and apologizing I have to do." I pulled her against my chest and stroked her hair. "I won't ever leave you again."
"You better not, because next time I will hunt you down and I will hurt you." She squeezed me tighter. "I can't exist without you, Jasper. You're everything to me. Neither one of us is perfect, but whatever happens between us, we have to handle it together. As a couple."
"I won't ever leave. I promise."
"And, I won't ever run away from you again. I know part of the reason why you left. I ran from you one too many times, but I won't do that again. You're here to help me and I finally understand you don't need me to be perfect."
"You are perfect, but I know what you mean. You may slip up in your journey, and that's okay. I'll never be disappointed. I'll always support you."
"I should've trusted that. It's not like you haven't told me before."
"We all make mistakes."
"We learn from them. I know you feel bad about leaving me, but you did what you thought was right at the time. You hurt me more than anyone ever has and I needed to come to terms with that."
"I'll suffer for that for the rest of my existence. I'll never be able to forgive myself for hurting you."
"You have to find peace with it. I have. If I couldn't have forgiven you, I wouldn't have come back here. None of us are perfect. We're going to hurt one another through the years. How could we not? I honestly believe you were trying to help me in the best way you knew how."
"You are the most amazing woman I've ever encountered. You're strong, brave, beautiful and smart. You've always been the most incredible creature to me."
"You know what I've learned in our time apart?"
"What's that, beautiful?"
"I need you just as much as a human needs air. I can lean on you, love you, let you protect me and take care of me the same way you'll let me take care of you. I also learned its okay for me to screw up. You've been exactly where I've been before."
"More times than I would've liked. I can already feel you're not going to struggle the way I have."
"But, if you were to slip up again, I would accept that and help you move on. We're going to grow and learn every day. We'll always have one another."
"Always." I stroked her cheek. "I don't deserve you."
"Yes, you do. We deserve each other. We hit a bump in the road, but we're moving past it. I love you. I know you can feel that."
I focused on her. "You're projecting."
"I think so." She smiled.
"I'd be able to feel your love either way, but having it projected on me makes it so much stronger. I'm so used to feeling what everyone else feels that sometimes it becomes dull and I've learned to block out so much. Obviously, I've never encountered anyone who could project anything on me. It's fascinating."
"Can you feel this?" She arched a brow at me and then slowly licked her lips. She was projecting more lust than I've ever experienced. And, I've experienced a lot of lust in my life time.
"Feel it? You're going to make me come right on the spot."
"No." She toned down the lust. "That's no good."
"You're right." I picked her up and with vamp speed I ran into the house and up the stairs. "I can think of a much better place to come." I placed her on her feet and ran my hands under the little, black sundress she was wearing, seeking out the tiny thong I knew I'd find. With one swift jerk of my hand they were shredded into black pieces of confetti.
Bella laughed softly as she reached for the buckle of my jeans. "I can feel how much you want me."
"I'm trying to take my time, but you smell so good and it's been so long." I lowered my lips to her neck. "I'll try to behave."
"Oh no, cowboy." She ripped my shirt from my body; buttons flew across the room as she tossed it on the floor. "We have plenty of time to behave later. I want it the way you know I like it."
I reached for the zipper of her dress and quickly lowered it before trailing my fingers down her spine. She wasn't wearing a bra. I smirked as I ran my hand over her bare ass. Her skin was smooth and soft. I missed touching her.
I miss so many things.
I moved my hands up to her shoulders and slipped the dress from her body, watching as dropped to her feet. She kicked her cowboy boots off as I took a step back to take in her body. It was as perfect as I'd remembered. I ran my tongue over my lips as I stared at her eager pussy. Her taste was exquisite especially when she came on my tongue.
She took my hand and pulled me toward her, running her hands down my chest and pushing my pants over my hips.
"Later, baby," she whispered. "You can lick me as long as you'd like."
I placed my hand on her breasts and traced her nipples with my fingertips. "You always know what I want." I stepped out of my jeans and kicked them out of the way.
She closed her eyes and threw back her head. "I need you."
I spun her around and bent her over the dresser. "I can feel how much you want me to fuck you." I moved my hand down her back, over her ass and between her legs, feeling how wet she was. She tightened around my fingers as I pushed them inside her heat.
"Yes," she screamed.
"Yes, what?" I moved my fingers in and out of her.
"Fuck me!" she moaned. "Now!"
I moved closer to her body, placing one hand on the small of her back as I used my other to ram my cock deep inside her pussy.
"Jasper!" She screamed as she braced herself against the dresser for my next thrust. "Yes…just like that. Hard and fast."
I continued to slam into her, releasing the past few weeks of pain and frustration over being separated from her with each plunge. My mate was back and I intended on claiming her over and over again. I gripped her hair and pressed her face against the cherry wood of the dresser as I swiveled my hips, hitting her walls just the way I knew she liked. She always wanted it fast and rough.
"Fuck, baby," I yelled. "Missed this so much."
"So close, Jas…touch me!" Her voice was frantic and raw with need. I could feel her desperation.
I reached around to her center and slipped my fingers inside her slick pussy, finding her sweet little clit. I ran my finger over it, lightly pinching it and feeling her body tense.
"You gonna cum for me?" I whispered against her ear.
"Yes, now, Oh God…"
I licked and sucked her neck as I wrapped my hand around her waist and pulled her upright and flush against my body, switching the angle from which I was fucking her. She reached up over her head and twisted her fingers in my hair, the way she always did.
"Fuck!" I screamed out my release as I held her as close to my body as I could. When I calmed down, I gently pulled out of her and carried her over to the bed…our bed.
We lay cuddled against one another, trying to process what had just happened between us. One minute we were down at the path and the next we were naked and connected.
"Jasper," she finally spoke. "I'm home."
I closed my eyes and pushed back the lump that was forming in my throat. I knew exactly what she meant. It had nothing to do with this house or this bed. I was overcome with so many feelings and we had so much to deal with, but for right now, I'd take this instant.
"You are home, baby." I pulled her closer to me. "I'll do better, I promise."
"Welcome home, my Isabella."
***Thanks for taking yet another Jasper/Bella journey with me.